The Japanese 温泉 (onsen) is a much more nuanced, calming experience than just a simple hot bath. Not only are onsen naturally powered, but they are also communal. Bathing in the nude with others is perhaps a strange custom, especially in Indonesia, but at Azalea Suites, we insist on presenting the authentic Japanese experience as much as possible, to fulfill our creed: providing a calm & peaceful apartment.
Imagine, if you will, the Japanese daily life. The 毎日生活 (mainichi seikatsu) of the average Japanese salaryman involves furiously running across the city in a suffocating black-and-white suit. Making it to his office, he would work tirelessly, interacting with no-one save for the shouting of his boss, and then staying over-hours because the boss just demanded overtime, or 残業 (zangyou). He then trudges home at close to midnight, with time to do little else but sleep so he can come to work tomorrow.
The philosophy of the onsen is to offer a break from this hectic, not an interactive lifestyle. Nudity is an important part of this philosophy: by breaking down all barriers, the bather is expected to better connect with his fellow man. This is known as naked communication: 裸の付き合い (hadaka no tsukiai). Moreover, the warm waters invite you to relax and stay, unlike the hustle and bustle of the daily salaryman life, never stopping, never-ending. The conversation is commonplace in traditional Japanese onsens: strangers meet and divulge details of their daily lives, complaining about their woes and celebrating their achievements, all with total strangers.
‘Natural’, or 自然的 (shizenteki) is a large part of the therapeutic nature of the onsen. Different onsens across Japan bubble from different hot springs with different mineral compositions. Outdoor options are frequently provided, and with the exception of metropolitan areas such as Tokyo, clothing articles are expressly forbidden, in order to better be in touch with the natural.
Therefore, the guest must instead wash him or herself before entering the baths, as the bathwater is shared with others - as cleanly as he or she could. Rinse after bathing, but before entering, as the guest must not let soap water mix with the onsen bath water, and only then is the guest allowed to enter the onsen.
At Azalea Suites, we provide both types of onsen: one piping hot, at around 50-60 degrees celsius, and one soberingly cold, at around 10 degrees celsius.
The hot water onsen is regulated at a temperature that allows guests to relax in it for hours at a time. Visitors are encouraged to relax, lounge, and chat it up with other guests. However, it is not advised to directly plunge into the hot waters, as the sudden change in temperature could be dangerous to the body. Instead, dip your toes in first, or scoop out the water with a bucket and splash parts of your body to grow accustomed to it.
Its colder counterpart, the 水風呂 (mizu-buro), should also be tried, preferably right after using the hot spring onsen! However, it is advised to not stay for too long. The sensation of the bitter cold, gradually giving way to a frigid warmth as your body adjusts to the water temperatures is a wholly unique experience, but there are limits to the human body, and staying in too long can be dangerous. The experience, however, is said to be very good for the skin. That said, after exiting, one should rinse him or herself with a mild shower before proceeding to warmer waters, as sudden shifts in temperature are, as outlined previously, dangerous.
We have done our best to capture this authentic Japanese experience at Azalea Suites, and we believe that our experience is second to none, except for Japan itself. We invite you to come over and enjoy our hospitality, and to cleanse yourself from the stresses of daily life in the warm confines of our onsen hot springs.
Check out : discover this video of Cikarang's peaceful Onsen